News: Residence permits through real estates May 8th 2014 amendments in law
Latvian parliament adopted amendments to the Immigration Law in Latvia on May 8th, 2014. The amendments will come into force on September 1, 2014. Changes refer to the minimum thresholds of the property that qualifies for temporary residence permit.
At the moment minimum investment amounts to in Eur 143,000 if real estate located in Riga city, Jurmala, Ventspils or other major cities towns and Eur 72,000 if property located if small cities and towns outside Riga region.
Starting from 1st September the minimum thresholds will be Eur 250,000 irrespective of location. In addition the state contribution 5% should be paid.
Amendments in the law were adopted as a result of long discussions in the Parliament. Immigration program was introduced on 2010 as a solution to attract foreign investors in order to develop economy after financial crisis. Since then Immigration law was not changed in respect of real estate program.
According to the adopted amendments the foreigner is entitled to apply for temporary residence permit if purchase price of the property amounts at least Eur 250,000 and State cadastral vale (state reference price) at least Eur 80,000.
It was proposed to pay contribution Eur 25,000 in the government fund. In the result of discussions, such fee was reduced and now it relates to 5% of purchase price. Practically it means at least Eur 12,500.
Other requirements remained unchanged, namely: purchase price was transferred through bank account and applicant has no real estate tax debt and no criminal records.
Residence permit is granted for 5 years, subject to register each year. Family members - spouse and juvenile children - can also apply along with the main investor.
Changes in the Immigration law does not affect current temporary residence permit holders. According to the adopted regulations if foreigner has registered his ownership rights to the property until 31st August 2014, his application will be examined in the light of law that was in force in the moment of property purchase.
Before 31st August 2014 investors are able to buy real estate and apply for temporary residence permit in accordance with the terms and conditions valid up to now – the minimum value of a facility in Riga, Jurmala and other big cities of Latvia being about EUR 143 000, and in the regions – about EUR 72 000. Starting from 1st September new regulation applies.